Many Patterson residents take part in a variety of the Fair’s competitions, and a number of kids—from both the Patterson High School FFA and the Patterson 4-H program—have placed high in the livestock and animal categories.
“The kids put in many months preparing before the Fair—getting the animals and feeding them … exercising them every day,” said Cyndy Tyler, mother of Mary Tyler, a member of the goat category of 4-H.
Mary prepares both breeding and market animals. Nicole Hubble and Jacob Ferreira also compete in the goat category and keep their animals on Tyler’s property.
“There’s nothing better than seeing them succeed at something they’ve been working on,” added Tyler.
Lisa Coble is the 4-H leader for meat goats, and this year she has 12 kids under her direction. Coble’s daughters Sara, 17, a Patterson High School senior, and Taylor, 11, are two of those kids; Sara has been showing goats for nine years, and Taylor two.
“It’s the biggest number we’ve had,” said Coble. “Every year it has grown bigger and bigger. ... We have about five or six new kids this year.”
Nine of the 12 goats in the 4-H meat goat group come straight from Coble’s ranch.
To Coble, goats are a good first-year 4-H project, noting their puppy-dog mentality and the relatively light Fair preparation that goes into them—when compared to a pig or a steer.
However, Coble was quick to reiterate, “There is a lot of work that’s involved in it.”
Greg Stonebarger, who has been a leader for the Patterson 4-H swine group for 34 years and currently co-leads swine alongside his wife Misty, spoke to the same dedication.
“It’s something they work on year-round,” said Stonebarger. “Not only as far as their [Fair] project, but as far as the club too. Community service-type stuff. … This year they were sending stuff to the military oversees.”
Viola Parker’s ranch houses six of the groups’ pigs—the other six spread out in different locations—and the kids come out to spend time with their animals each evening.
Twelve is the average number of kids the Stonebargers get in their group each year, but some years that number can raise to about 15 or 20.
In addition to swine and goats, Patterson 4-H also has chickens, cavies, rabbits, sheep, steer, heifers and horses—though the horse group has their event before the Fair proper.
Dairy goats will kick off the livestock/animal shows and judging today, with the events opening up to the other animal categories as the Fair gets underway tomorrow. The Awards Assembly and Ceremony will take place on the last day, July 20.
Nathan Duckworth can be reached at 209-892-6187 or Nathan@PattersonIrrigator.com